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who's time is it anyway? Illinois

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  • who's time is it anyway? Illinois

    I was given a verbal warning for being 1 minute late consistently over the course of the last two months. I have been with this company for 2 and a half years, and this has never been an issue. I live across the street from my job.

    question....

    is it my responsibility to set my clock to the system time of my employer, or is it my employers responsibility to set their system time to the correct setting?

  • #2
    They are the employer - they set the rules. If you live right across the street from work, I would think you could get to work on time by the employer's clock. Why do you need to get there at the last min. instead of a little early?
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    • #3
      It is your responsibility to get there at the time the employer wants you to be there.
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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      • #4
        those are excellent ideas....

        those are excellent ideas. i understand my responsibility to be to work on time, and i desire to follow the rules. so yes i plan to be there early from now on......

        i am not allowed to clock in more than 5 minutes prior to my shift, and zero minutes afterwards so there is a 5 minute window of opportunity to clock in without the system flagging me for a time violation.

        please allow me to restate my question.... from a LEGAL standpoint is it my employers responsibility to conform to actual REAL time, or is it my responsibility to conform to my employers ARBITRARY time.

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        • #5
          It is your responsibility to conform to the employer's time.
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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          • #6
            so then.... hypothetically

            Originally posted by cbg View Post
            It is your responsibility to conform to the employer's time.
            so then.... hypothetically.... if its actually 10:26 (according to GMT), and the system time of my employer says 10:31 resulting in disciplinary action up to, and including termination i would have no recourse?

            wow.... that doesn't seem fair, or legally sound. i thought that GMT is the legal standard around the world.

            i guess time is truly relative.

            thanks for your input.
            Last edited by mayflower; 09-18-2007, 02:47 AM.

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            • #7
              Since there is no law that mandates all employers to have their clocks set to GMT, they are not obligated to set their clocks accordingly. I think you will find that very few clocks throughout the US are set to exactly GMT; I suspect that most vary by a minute or two either way.

              This is, frankly, a matter of common sense. If you know that the employer's clock is a minute or two off, it only makes sense to see that you are on time by that clock, and not count on the law to say, "You can't discipline the employee for being late because your clock was slow; you have to reinstate him and remove the tardy from his record". The law simply isn't going to get involved with the employer's business practices to that degree.
              The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by cbg View Post
                Since there is no law that mandates all employers to have their clocks set to GMT, they are not obligated to set their clocks accordingly. I think you will find that very few clocks throughout the US are set to exactly GMT; I suspect that most vary by a minute or two either way.

                This is, frankly, a matter of common sense. If you know that the employer's clock is a minute or two off, it only makes sense to see that you are on time by that clock, and not count on the law to say, "You can't discipline the employee for being late because your clock was slow; you have to reinstate him and remove the tardy from his record". The law simply isn't going to get involved with the employer's business practices to that degree.
                it's because of loyalty, and grace NOT common sense that i have decided to adhere to my employers arbitrary time selection process.

                COMMON SENSE tells me that GMT IS the world standard, and invaluable to anyone who desires to be on time. i suspect that the most important elements of society from an industrial, commercial, and defense perspective COUNT on accurate time synchronization.

                to what degree then does the law get involved with the employers business practice... 1%, 10%, 50%.... or 100%? based on this kind of arbitrary standard why should a company have to pay every dollar/penny they owe in taxes for instance? or pay the employee the exact amount due for services rendered? the list goes on, and on....

                i say the law is on the side of the employee who is doing things according to the established order of society, and the employer should keep exact GMT time since they are going to exercise this level of scrutiny on their employees.

                i don't believe the legal system would be of much help to the poor soul who should decide to challenge an employers willingness to institute an arbitrary time of day on their time clock.

                from an ethical standpoint however it is not too much to ask. if i can set my $20.00 watch to CST (central standard time) based on GMT then what is so hard about the employer setting the system time of their computer to CST based on GMT?

                http://www.time.gov/timezone.cgi?Central/d/-6/java

                btw... i hear what your saying, i realize this is the way the cookie crumbles.

                this is par for the course unfortunately.

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                • #9
                  so then.... hypothetically.... if its actually 10:26 (according to GMT), and the system time of my employer says 10:31 resulting in disciplinary action up to, and including termination i would have no recourse?
                  How about setting your clock to the time the employer has? pretty simple, wouldn't you agree?
                  Somedays you're the windshield and somedays you're the bug.

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                  • #10
                    I see this phenomena all the time.
                    Those that live 2 minutes from work are the ones always late or rushing to the time clock barely making it on time.
                    And those, like me, who have a 20 mile drive are the ones with a good seat in the break area and reading an unused newspaper at least 30 minutes before it's time to work.
                    Your options in the workplace are the three "L's"- Live with it, Lobby for change, or Leave. Screaming for an attorney will do no good most of the time.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mlane58 View Post
                      How about setting your clock to the time the employer has? pretty simple, wouldn't you agree?

                      If the OP did this then his clock would be incorrect when he is not at work such as after work or weekends.

                      Why not just put two clocks in your house with a label under each. One that says actual time (GMT) and the other that says work time (X number of minutes fast or slow). I am obviously being sarcastic with this comment.

                      However, its not illegal for your employer to be doing this. But it does stand to reason that most employees would use common sense, like you are, and assume the employers time is the same as the majority of society.

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                      • #12
                        I can't even get the clocks within my own office in sync. My phone reads 3 minutes earlier than my PC an both are set by the system. Rarely does anything happen on an exact schedule. Even buses and trains can be off due to traffic or weather. If your life is so programmed that everything must happen at its exact slated time, you are going to need to learn to be a bit more flexible.
                        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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                        • #13
                          I agree with others that your employer's clock will be the final rule... but I also think it's nuts.

                          Previous job had large rooms full of cubicles (3), with 2 clocks in each room. The clocks were as much as 8 minutes different from room to room.. heck even in the SAME room, one on one side of the room would read 8:00 and the other 8:07, and then the computers were totally different.

                          ALL clocks were at minimum 7 minutes ahead of the "real world", i.e. the clocks at the bank, on the radio, on my computer at home (set with the cable internet), on the cable box, the cell phone, and several other examples of actual time set by SATELLITE.

                          I had to override my cell phone's auto-update to set my cell phone time ahead of the "real time" . The company knows the clocks are wacky, and still they use a paper time "clock" system (sign in/out on a log) and managers will judge tardiness by their individual watches, the computer clock, the wall clock, whatever they feel like for the day. Lots of fun because they can and do terminate for "tardiness" as little as 2 minutes here and there, and there's no electronic record of any of it.

                          SO yeah, they make the rules, they have the power, but they could just get satellite clocks and be reasonable.

                          I did joke once with a supervisor that while I WAS 5 minutes late due to traffic, I was on time in the "real world".

                          Comment

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